The extraordinary history and timeless beauty of religious art and architecture. That is what I think of when I walk into churches when I travel. With four dating back to the French regime around the early 1700’s, and two from the 1800’s, the churches of Île d’Orléans are certainly representative of this extraordinary history and timeless beauty of religious art and architecture.
Each of the six parishes on Île d’Orléans, an island near Québec City, Canada, has a church as its focal point. As one travels around the 42-mile Chemin Royal (Royal Road) that encircles the perimeter of the island, the churches are spaced equally distant from one another, approximately one every seven miles. They make for great places to stop, rest, contemplate, and enjoy the history and beauty.
The majority of the churches of Île d’Orléans are constructed out of stone. And three of the oldest churches are considered historical monuments. The church in the parish of Saint-Pierre, which is the oldest rural church in the province of Québec, was built around 1717; the church in Saint-Jean parish was built around 1734; and the church in the parish of Sainte-Famille was constructed around 1743. Much of the art inside the churches dates back to this time as well.
However, two of the other churches, one being built in 1860 located in Saint-Laurent parish, and one built in 1870 in Sainte-Pétronille parish, are no less historical. The church in the parish of Saint-François which originally opened for worship in 1736, was destroyed by a fire in 1988, and rebuilt in 1992, but still holds great history and beauty nonetheless.
As reasons #11 through #16 of the 42 reasons to visit Île d’Orléans, the churches of Île d’Orléans are certainly places where you can truly enjoy the extraordinary history and timeless beauty of religious art and architecture. They are also places you can enjoy the first reason to visit Île d’Orléans, the quiet. And in between the history, the beauty, and the quiet, enjoy the chocolate shops (reasons #2 to #4), and the wineries, cidreries, and vinaigreries of Île d’Orléans (reasons #5 to #10).
My walking tour of Île d’Orléans was sponsored by Tourisme Québec (Québec Original) and Québec City Tourism (Québec Region). For more information, please visit: